So… it’s over. The late night coffee and bubble tea runs, the movies, the “study” sessions (special emphasis on the quotation marks), the bible study lessons, the goofy dinners in the caf, the special events… it’s all done.

And here I sit, prepped and ready to go to Washington D.C.; and the question is, how far have I come, and how did I get there?

I must admit, it has been extremely hard in recent days to generate any enthusiasm for next semester. The benefits seem so small in comparison to the anchors that keep my heart here in Michigan… and yet I press on. Why? Because I can see that God has shaped events in such a way to prepare me for something. What this “something” is I know not, but I have to keep believing that God has good things in store for me, and I need to be prepared.

Still, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss as I think about the semester that I’m missing, because the last two years have taught me the unalterable truth… the fun never stops at CCF!

I have so many good memories… (yes, even Goldie can remember a few things)

The first time I met CCF on a skiing trip: The kindness of the people, their gutsiness in going down the “big” hills, and this kid with glasses who I thought was a cheerful, hyperactive nerd. (note: First impressions are clearly not my strong point… it was Jared!)

The endless USB trips: Teriyaki chicken. Beef noodle soup. Chocolate bubble tea (seriously, you guys, you’re missing out!). The Rubric cube. The golf ball in the water. The ESPN vs. Tom and Jerry debates. The chess matches. The Euchre games. The deep spiritual discussions. The bean sprouts. Learning top-notch chopstick skills (ok, ok… mediocre chopstick skills). Watching the winter Olympics. Making use of the massage chair. Building relationships that will last a lifetime.

The sports: Endless basketball games. Shooting 6 for 8 with 5 three pointers one night and 1 for 9 with one lay-up the next. Getting creamed but playing well in the three on three tournament. Showing up KFC (oh, I mean KCF ) at IM West. Playing tennis with my friends and trying to make it look like I’m not going easy. Epic Ultimate Frisbee matches. Placing last in my first ever tournament and second in my last one with SCF. Learning to throw forehand almost as well as backhand, and gaining a consistent “hammer”. Playing broomball with IV. Running with friends (climbing trees and almost falling in the river included). Running like crazy to steal the flag in paintball because I had run out of bullets anyways. Trying to keep up with Rachelle at the ice rink (which happened for all of 10 seconds). Trash talking like a madman on the volleyball court… with absolutely no game to back it up.

Large group: The first I ever came to about dating, where I established my reputation as arrogant and somewhat condescending (hm, maybe first impressions CAN be right…). The rabbits. The guy-girl lesson. The focus on God lesson (I think there are STILL some people unhappy with that one). The ice breakers (ever tried to play telephone with three FOBs, two ABCs, and a white guy?). The crazy introduction questions. The excellent worship. Bonnie’s lesson on forgiveness. The Night at the Oscars. Dealing with September 11. Forcing Christy and Cassie and Lindsay to teach (and having each of them do an excellent job). Getting terrific “Secret Jesus” gifts. Getting a sweatshirt for walking over from Case for all the leadership meetings.

The special events: Hot Pot. Movie nights, with Steak ‘n’ Shake runs after. Pinball Pete’s. Apple Picking. Broomball. Newspaper games. Barbecue at Bonnie’s. The comedians (Riiiiiiiiiicccoooolloooooooooo). The dances (my favorite). Girls’ Revenge. Singing to Christy on her Birthday. Going camping with the guys (Welcome to the Revolution!). Guys’ night out. Climbing the wall at Galyans. Games in the Time Out room. Sledding.

Just being friends: Dinner in the caf. Vermacelli (aka bean thread) with Sewa and Samantha. Movies in people’s rooms. Birthday parties. Picking songs for CCF with Joyce. Coffee runs. Tears. Getting past gossip. Getting past differences.

Random events: Turning on scoreboards and falling out of trees with Diana. Sitting with Ryan, waiting for him to get stiches. Taking Jared to the hospital after getting his teeth knocked in, literally. Climbing the fire escape instead of watching shooting stars on a cloudy night, and eating breakfast afterwards.

Small group: Simon and Garfunkel. I can’t believe you guys didn’t bring your bibles! Why are Asians always late? Ok, I have an outline! Creed. Xin, what are you talking about?
Since when does McGlobe get the lounge? They’ll only have 5 people anyways! Ok, ok… we’ll have more discussion. Evolution. Predestinatin. “God is like a rainbow.” We need to be ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED to God. Xin, what are you talking about?

Core: Meetings without end. Retreats. Sleeping at Bonnie’s church. Campfire on the beach. MTs. Arguments and debates. Spiritual growth. One-on-ones. Wheel of Morality.

Nicknames: Gazelle, The Monk, Willis, The Emperor, Goldie, Champ.


Jared: Loyalty and Credibility vs. Principle. The Cold War that I didn’t know about becoming a deep friendship. The 9 hour conversation. Rooming together at Twyckingham. Eating ridiculous amounts of eggs. The Ant War. Video Games. D&D and the Magic Dice. McDonald’s trips. The trip to Tennessee. Hypotheticals. Inside vs. Outside. Hot vs. Cold. Emotion and passion vs. discipline and objectivity. Girl issues. Chess wars. The single one-on-one basketball game. 6 hour arguments. Trying to rent movies. Barnes and Noble vs. 21st Century. Sleeping while driving. The HUGE cross. Theology and philosophy. War and political strategy. General grumpiness.

Rachelle: Long talks in Tennessee. Brutal honesty. Cleaning the carpet during talks. Eating breakfast at Yakely… and RACHELLE SKIPPED A CLASS? The tea party the night before a test. Doing the puzzle. Medical jokes; what are you talking about? Political jokes; what are you talking about? Discussion vs. Lecturing. Opinion vs. Absolutes. Authority of the few vs. Authority of the group. Movie similarities; While You Were Sleeping, Return to Me, Anne of Green Gables, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, etc. Skating fast at the Ice Rink. The letter. Misperceptions. Taking breaks from Core meetings to work out compromises. How to handle relationships discussions. Jared’s pink shirt. GLUTIUS MAXIMUS and the ghetto booty.

Samantha: Vermacelli. Running to Beaners. Debating the finer points of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Jogging to Sparty. IM arguments. Deep spiritual discussions. Nati? Yeah, that totally fits. Hating shopping together the first time, but learning to like it the second. “What do you mean I’m a pistol?” Walking to X lot. Tennis; “holding back? Me? Never!”. Tears. “I can help you with your grammars.” Eating “shrimps”. Serious displays of stubbornness on both sides. Dumb jokes. The basics of politics. The Health exam. “You are SO MUCH like my mom!” Absolute commitment to friendship no matter what. Ideas for Core. “The guys in CCF need more boldness.” Feeling like simultaneous failures but seeing the simultaneous successes. Short jokes. “My 12 year old brother is taller than you!” White jokes. Family differences. “Are you teachable?”

Christy: Stealing food of my plate. Ice cream. “But I don’t have any spoons!” Discussions about Marvin. Cells and Moving Vans. “They come from RATS?” The ethics of medicine. Tuesday and Thursday breakfasts. “Aw, you didn’t have to wake up for me!” “Don’t worry, I’m not awake yet.” Stories about old people. You got drunk on NYQUIL? “I’m hot.” “Oh yes you ARE!” Spiderman, 8 mile, and Lord of the Rings. CHRISTY! That’s DISGUSTING! Multivitamins. “What do you mean, I won’t be able to tell what they’re doing?” Rap vs. Opera. Hip-Hop vs. Classical. You can’t BURP? Constructive criticism. ::sniff:: You’re leaving me all alone? Let me get my camera and duct tape and I’ll make you famous.

Arthur: Dinners at Case. “Case is SO much better!” Playing pool… on the computer. “Hey, if you think you can pull of the paintball thing, go for it.” Basketball games, shooting threes from half court. What does it mean to be a Godly man? I don’t CARE how hot your physical therapist is. WHAT? Medal of Honor. “I was BORN to be a sniper!” Who’s skinnier? Sorry, man, what the girls want, the girls get. You walk so SLOW. “I can’t live with Asians.” Dude, NOBODY CARES. CBC history. You get to prove it the way I did… one long day at a time.

Joyce: Choosing songs for CCF. Two social people trying to get past just being social. (simultaneously) “I do 90% of the work around here!” All of a sudden, we’re realizing that we’re leaders. Trying to make small talk over the phone. “If you see chewy crème savers, that’s us!” “Well, if you see pharmacist legislation, that’s US!” Relax, Joyce, you’re gorgeous. I HATE singing. I’d much rather just listen to you guys. “I think I just like being the mediator.” So, you ready to be in charge of this one? You kicked BUTT on my quizzes! Where’d you get a name like Juice, anyways? A DOUBLE RAINBOW. This is one of those things we’ll always remember.

Cassie: Cassie or Casey? Oh, Casey? No wait, Cassie? How do you spell it? I’m so confused. Walks back from McDonel after prayer meeting. Hand motions! Batman Beyond; yeah, baby. “She didn’t shudder at MY PAW.” Disney songs in the caf. “Yeah right, you just want to laugh at me!” Judging the Bigger and Better game. Why are you a breadstick? Just hanging out… “Ok, I’m taking you to Jon’s house, even if he isn’t there.” Is it 33 or 133? I’m sure they’re the same thing. “Well, this is an adventure!” Fast walkers. Um, ok, no. Don’t invade the bubble!

Lindsay: Oh my goodness, what is up with your FEET? Little kids are so cute! Are you going to pay dues to the teacher’s union? How do you get a name like Brownie? Yes, I KNOW that Noah is incredibly cute. Are you ready to teach this week? Don’t compare yourself so much! You LIKE the idea of compartments? You were the one I was most worried about! A Walk to Remember? I CAN’T STAND THAT MOVIE. Ang? Yeah, that fits.

Diana: Turning the scoreboard on at the baseball field. Falling out of a tree. Discussing how to apply the Bible to our lives. “Oh, shut up, I’m gonna tell you anyways.” Do you think there are sub-groups? You’re weird. SMILE more! You and Stephanie are SO SHORT; I feel like you’re talking under me! Romans is a good book. You Jerk! You’re so cool. Hop on the sled, it’s fun! Trust me. The dress isn’t blue, it’s tan! What are YOU looking at? God loves me the way I am, right?

And so many more…

Ok, next blog will be a bit more normal. I’ll tell you what though, guys… I love each and every one of you. I’ll miss you guys. Don’t forget me.


LUKE: Yoda! I am ready. I... Ben! I can be a Jedi. Ben, tell him I'm ready!
YODA: Ready, are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained! A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless!

LUKE: I won't fail you - I'm not afraid.
YODA: Oh, you will be. You will be.

Thanksgiving break was a good one for me, despite having to tell people what I’m doing next semester about a thousand times over. I should issue memos! The best part, though, was seeing one of my best friends in the world, whom I haven’t been able to spend significant time with since a year and a half ago.

Steve Loudon and I think so similarly and have such similar interests that we call ourselves the Jedi Twins; a formidible pair whether it be in sports (especially Ultimate, of course), theology, philosophy, or Bible and Star Wars trivia (my dad just about fell over when we both knew that Lando Calrissian’s Cloud City was designed to mine Tibanna gas).

Hanging out with Stevo reminded me of Star Wars, so I’ve been relating everything to that fine set of movies lately; hence, the above quotes. See, in preparing for and leading today’s Bible study (kudos to those few but faithful who showed up), I was struck by the importance of commitment. Following God requires the same things required of a Jedi; the deepest commitment, a most serious mind, a focus on the present without losing sight of of goals, a high level of discipline. Will things get hard? Will we be afraid? Of course. The reward, though, is greater than the price.

In our Bible study (e-mail me if you want a copy of the outline), we discussed how God asks for us to be fully committed to him. We’re not talking about calling yourself a Christian every day until you die. We’re talking about being sold out, on fire, and completely focused on glorifying God with every move you make. We ought to do this because A) he deserves it after all he’s done for us, B) it’s our share of a consistent relationship with him, and C) it’s in our best interest.

Further, we talked about what that actually MEANS. We didn’t cover everything, but we did talk about how commitment can mean:
-A resolve to make right choices and follow God BEFORE the choice comes up
-Consistency in our relationship with him and in serving him
-Focus on serving him above all else, including above family or career or school
-Using our talents to serve him to the full extent of our ability
-Counting the cost of complete devotion

After discussion, we did an exercise. I know, I know. STOP THE PRESSES, BEN QUIT TALKING FOR TEN MINUTES. Yeah, well, whatever. Makes you wish you came, huh? Anyways, we took some time to honestly evaluate ourselves and then write down specific areas where we could shore up our commitment to serving God. I was amazed at the depth and specificity (yes, it’s a word) of the responses. All 6 of us, I think, were able to recognize some important things about ourselves and where we ought to be. After writing my own ideas –and conveniently copying from a few of my friends- I came up with a list of things that I want to focus on in my life to improve my commitment to God.

In seeking to be more committed to glorifying God in my life, I will strive to;
1. Pray EVERY NIGHT, especially while in Washington D.C.
2. Pray for one specific person each week
3. Have quiet times every day. Not just studying time or lesson-writing time, but actual quiet time.
4. Fast for at least one day every month.
5. Find ways of keeping myself accountable in D.C.
6. Set spiritual goals at the start of each month for that month.
7. Memorize at least one scripture verse (preferably more) each month.
8. Be honest with myself about my spritual life, and avoid rationalization.
9. Schedule a set time each day for God (random quiet times quickly become absent quiet times).
10. Find new things in the Bible. Instead of going to areas already knowing what I’ll find, I must search for new concepts and ideas. If it weren’t for my bible study, I’d never have had even a remote understanding of predestination!
11. Remind myself consistently that nothing I have is mine.

My apologies to those whom I have blatently plagerized, but you guys had great ideas!

So the question is, will I be able to follow through? In all honesty, probably not. D.C. is going be rough, and I fully expect that my many weaknesses will find ways of manifesting themselves. However, it’s a “rabbit” that I must stive for (kudos to those who remember what that means). It’s a goal that I desire because it’s what God wants for me, and that should be enough.

In other news, I received a great blessing today. For those who haven’t been told, I had the opportunity to build a friendship with a Muslim guy named Isaac from one of my classes. For the first few days of class, we were at each other’s throats, intense and certain in what we believed. However, God gave me an opportunity to extend the hand of friendship… and I bought his books for him. No, I’m not kidding; $115 bucks worth. Eventually, he dropped the class, but forgot to pay me back. I must admit to fretting a bit, but God let me stay in control… and blessed me for it. A month ago, he paid me back. Not in full (15 short), but enough that I was able to survive. At the time, I was honored when he said, “Almost nobody would go out of their way for another person like that, and I really appreciate it.”

The beautiful thing about this is that today, I saw him again! I hadn’t seen him since that day, but today I did, and we had a good chat. He again thanked me for helping him out, and then told me that he’d be praying for me (sweet… I’ve got two major religions covered. All I need is to buy a yamukeh, and I’m all set!). I told him the same, and walked away excited, having been reminded that God accomplishes his goals through my faithfulness, not my eloquence.

To top the day off, God gave me a lot of confidence through the vehicle of a couple close friends, who reminded me of the great joy that it is to fulfill the second most important commandment. Thanks so much, you guys.

Well, this Jedi needs to get to bed. Before I do, though, I would encourage you to stop and take a look around you. Maybe your commitment to God needs a little renovation, and maybe your bed will be empty longer than you think it ought to. In the end, though, there’s no greater blessing than serving a God who is in complete control of all that happens, and has your best interest at heart to boot. Till next time.

“It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary."
-Sir Winston Churchill

What doth it profit thee to enter into deep discussions concerning the Holy Trinity, if thou lack humility, and be thus displeasing to the Trinity? For verily it is not deep words that make a man holy and upright; it is a good life which maketh a man dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than be skillful in the definition thereof. If thou knewest the whole Bible, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what should this profit thee without the love and grace of God?
-Thomas à Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ


In an earlier blog, I spoke of the qualities of an ideal woman. A large factor in my understanding of what that would look like was my belief that Christian women should seek men who are willing to simultaneously be leaders, servents, soldiers, and yes; champions. To me, the true measure of a champion is how they react when the pressure comes. The great-souled man is the one who shows up when common sense says that running or wimping out are the safest options.

Examples abound. Mike Bibby. Jimmy Connors. Joe Montana. Winston Churchill. Martin Luther. Moses. Paul.

Today’s hero has so much in common with yesterday’s that it’s ridiculous. Cool under pressure. Willing to take the heat. Willing to lay it all on the line. Willing, in the words of Kipling, to “risk it all in one turn of pitch-and-toss.” Confident in who he is. Prepared to lose, should things go in that direction, but not willing to give in even if they do.

Granted, the great man has more than simple gutsiness. Wisdom, intelligence, and consistency are also very key. Today’s discussion, though, centers on a man’s character. It focuses on the strength of Will that presses onwards despite pain, hardship, or frustration.

This champion must be willing to make the hard choices. He must choose character over popularity. He values a lonesome strength above comfort in weakness. He stands by principle before running away to the safety of pacification. His path is one that does not pass through popularity, or ease, or self-gratification. Rather, it passes through those things which bring true strength, true morality, true honor, and true quality.

Why am I discussing this topic? It is because I am facing a time in my life when I must make some hard decisions. I must choose between the path of the strong and of the weak. I must challenge convention. I must take issues to the next level. I must stop trying to untie the Gordion knot (kudos to whomever knows what that means) and instead be willing to chop it to pieces.

This is not a time for peacemakers, blessed though they may be. As Soloman says, “There is a time to tear apart and a time to sew together, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.” Now is the time when once again, I must be willing to lay aside attainable desires to pursue true magnanimity.

Problems will come. They always do. And yet, loath though I may be to face those problems, I know facing them is for the best. As Seneca says, “If we are lashed and torn by Fortune, let us bear it; it is not cruelty but a struggle, and the oftener we engage in it, the stronger we shall be.” By taking on the very things which so many shy away from, I seek to become what so many wish to be.

Let it not be said of me that I backed off and was weak when strength was required. Let it not be said that my fear was greater than my boldness. Let it not be said that I did nothing.

I try to attain this standard, I think, not because of a desire for honor and glory, but rather because I want to offer it to God. I want a gift that is the best I can give, and no gift that I can offer is greater than this one. It is the best that I have, and is what he deserves to be offered.

I hope that my pursuit of this gift leads to others seeing God in me. I want to make the correlation obvious to them; God’s love in me is the reason that I seek to be this hero, this champion. I hope that one day, someone can look at me and say that because of God in my life, I match what Josiah Quincy said of the Founding Fathers;

“In difficult times, they conducted with wisdom; in doubtful times, with firmness; in perilous, with courage; under oppressive trials, erect; amid great temptations, unseduced; in the dark hour of danger, fearless; in the bright hour of prosperity, faithful.”

Will I be that man? Will I be able to someday offer God that gift? Only time will tell.


God does not have a Plan B.

Ok, everyone. I apologize. I realize that I’ve been pretty testy lately, and that my list of complaints seems not to have an end. I’m not usually a big fan of dumping my frustrations on people (ok, let’s be honest… I never give most of you the faintest clue of what’s going on in my life), but this past week I’ve been doing it all over the place. Quite frustrating.

God does not have a Plan B.

I think the reason for all this frustration, at the core, is my leaving for DC. I want SO BADLY to see people growing closer to God, and I worry a lot that my presence in CCF hasn’t fostered or encouraged that. At the same time, I’m sad to be leaving, and that can cause anyone to be a bit antsy. This isn’t to say that my whining is justified, but at least you see where I’m coming from.

God does not have a Plan B.

All this frustration has caused me to reevaluate. Why did I come to CCF? What am I doing here? Did I follow God’s will in being here, or am I wasting my time? Will anyone be able to look back and be glad that I was around? Do I exhibit even the slightest amount of Godliness or Christlkeness in my life?

God does not have a Plan B.

I was reminded, though, by several friends, that A) God is pleased with us not when we do what’s most effective, but when we follow him with everything we’ve got, and B) God IS fulflling his purpose in my life. I won’t always know the reasons for the weird things that happen, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t in control. Samantha said it best;

“God doesn’t have a Plan B.”

This simple phrase says so much. It says we shouldn’t worry. It says God is in complete control. It says he’s accomplishing what he wants to accomplish in your life. It says that no matter what happens, he was aware of it ahead of time and has planned accordingly. It says that we are exactly what he wants. It says he loves us. It says that the more we live a life that is focused on him and him alone, the greater our chance of hearing him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

So what about you? Are you frustrated, sick of school, and confused about where God wants you? Worried about your future (come tell me, we’ll drown our sorrows in multiple cups of coffee)? Tired of trying?

God asks only that we love him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. After that, he requires that we love others as we love ourselves. Nothing else will please him as much. Not school, not accomplishment, not even making the most effective or impactful decisions. God loves us completely, and knows what he wants for us.

And he does NOT have a Plan B.


Oh dear. Well, clearly, my last blog was a bit of an overreaction. It wasn’t entirely off from how I feel these days, but thankfully some friends straightened me out and prompted me to clarify a few things.

A) Ok, emotion isn’t ALL bad. It’s still good to feel things, especially love, comfort, safety, and joy. It’s just important that I not let those things dictate how I respond to situations, and that I make sure my mind is the one making decisions, not my feelings.

B) It was pointed out that I sometimes claim to be excited about relationships that I’m building, but that I also complain about feeling left out or like I’m not wanted. This is a valid point. The explanation, I think, lies in the fact that I’m BUILDING these relationships. Sure, it’s exciting to be doing so… but to me, this should have been happening long ago, and it’s a point of frustration to feel like I’m just getting to know people I’ve known for two and a half years.

C) No, I’m not happy to be leaving CCF for a semester. In fact, to be honest, I’m having a tough time dealing with it. Though I may be frustrated with certain aspects at times, I really do love CCF and everyone in it. Leaving my “family” of the last two years is going to be tough. Thanks so much to all those who have patiently helped me admit to myself how much I love being a part of CCF.

D) I’m not giving up on CCF in any way, shape, or form. I committed myself to this group when I joined Core over becoming a leader at SCF, and that commitment stands until I graduate. I will not back down from it, nor would I want to.

Ok: That said, on to more recent events. First of all, the next two weeks are going to be nasty. A ten page paper due Monday, a revision on a 7 page paper due Tuesday, and a 7 page paper, a 2 page paper, and a 10 page paper all due Thursday of next week. Yipes! What craziness.

Also, I’m having significant struggles understanding natural law. I mean, I understand the concept easily enough, but I’m struggling to understand the relationship between God’s sovereignty and the truths of the world he designed. For instance, philosophers claim that natural law is a modern Tower of Babel, proving that we don’t need God. If we can design law in such a way that heavenly moral accountability is unneccessary, they argue, then an athiestic worldview is suddenly credible and, in fact, superior. The class that raises these questions is causing me to be much more serious than usual, as I am forced to simultaneously study the questions and philosophies that are put forth, ask my own questions and doubts of God and the Bible (without letting them know that I am doing so), and debate each point as it comes up from a Christian worldview. Whew! I love this stuff, but it’s really taking the wind out of me lately.

Finally, I’ve been learning to come to terms with the fact that I’m leaving, and have set out to enjoy relationships as much as possible before I leave. Enjoy it while you still can, right? To this end, I have decided to make relationships a higher priority than school. Oh, wait… I already do that!

I know I don’t have a comment box, but e-mails are better anyways, because then the whole world doesn’t know what you say to me. Skiboy983@aol.com, for those of you who have some form of constructive criticism or random encouragement.

Till next time.


Well, I’ve just about decided to give up on this whole emotion/empathy/lovey-dovey stuff. How do people live like this? I can’t even express how frustrated I am (but you know me, I’m going to take a shot at it anyways).

First of all, it’s annoying. I’m sick of caring, sick of being disappointed, sick of hanging on to the smallest hopes and sick of being disappointed. I don’t like being frustrated, feeling left out, or feeling unwanted. I don’t like being afraid of losing a relationship. I don’t like not knowing where I stand with people. I don’t like being hurt when I find out. I DON’T LIKE BEING EMOTIONAL.

Second, it’s getting to me. Part of the reason I’m effective in analyzing public policy, political theory, and the like is that I’m usually objective and unaffected by outside events. Putting value on connections with others, though, has been distracting. Since when have I had a hard time reading because I’m thinking about relationship issues? Heck, I haven’t even been able to concentrate on the news lately! (this is only significant to those non-existant few who are both Christians and politicians, you know what a huge deal this is).

Third, it isn’t helping. The goal at the outset of this semester was to be more open, more emotional, and more empathetic, with the purpose of growing closer in relationships with people. I have tried my best to make that happen, and it hasn’t. I blame nobody but myself, but it is clear that being emotional isn’t the answer. Though I have had some limited success in this area, I don’t know that it’s a result of my efforts. Perhaps it’s just different because people have already established relationships and aren’t looking for more, but if that’s the case then I have no reason to do this to myself anyways.

Fourth, and worst, is the fact that it’s hurting my relationship with God. Instead of being progressive, constructive, and safe, I’m finding that running back and forth emotionally severely affects (in negative ways) my quiet times and my ability to communicate with God.

I guess all this would be an acceptable learning situation to me if it weren’t for the amount that I’ve invested here. But with DC looming, I have to question. What’s it all been for? A few lessons and some timely advice? Give me a break. I’m wasting what I’ve got.

Hopefully things will start to turn up. Hopefully DC will be a new world. Hopefully I can get back to God and not hurt anyone in the process.

The principles seem so simple. Love God. Love others. Be a mirror reflecting God. Walk in the steps of Christ.

The problems seem so stupid. Loneliness. Smallness. Hurt.

I can overcome this. I know I can. I think, though, that emotion has proven to be a useless tool in my unskilled hands. Others may use it well, but I clearly cannot. It may have to go the way of the dodo in my life.

I’ve stopped caring that DC is a month and a half away. What should that be telling me?


A blog two days after another? Wow, what is this?

Ok, question for the day: What’s your responsibility in a given situation? The question seems simple enough. All that is needed to answer is to look at the situation, evaluate it, and then explain what you believe you ought to do. Fourth graders do it all the time. “Look at this picture. Little Tommy sees someone littering. What should he do? He should put it in the trash, Miss Smith! That’s right, Anne. Here’s a Tootsie Roll for you.” (side note: Anne spelled with an “e” at the end is much nicer than Ann. Just ask Rachelle, she knows how it is!)

However, I think there’s a lot more to it than that. See, Christ describes our obligation not as being to do a certain amount and then to stop… rather, he simply says that we must love the other person as we love ourself. Think about that. All those things that you wish someone would do for you… you’re called to do them. All the times you wish the lines of communication were clearer… you’re called to clear them. All the times you feel your patience has been stretched to the limit… you’re called to have even more of it.

The problem comes, though, when you try to figure out what to do in a given situation… and simply can’t. Whether it’s that you made mistakes in the past, or aren’t good at evaluating people, or aren’t sure of how others will react… you just don’t know what to do to help those you love.

That’s been the situation for me lately. A lot of people around me are struggling. Sickness, housing situations, busyness, relationship issues, and school are all driving people to the edge of their patience, and in many cases beyond. There’s nothing I would love more than to be there for people, to listen to them, to let them know that their friends are still here and that things are going to be ok… but I can’t. I’m not sure why it is. The most likely thing is that I’m just not handling relationships well enough. Perhaps I’m not good enough at reading people. Whatever the reason, I’m finding that few people see me as someone to turn to. Sure, I’m a good teacher. Sure, give me three days and a bible and I’ll wrestle with any theological question you throw at me. Sure, I’m a lot of fun when life is smooth.

But when frustration is high and optimism is low… nothing. Not a word. I almost have to force it out of people. They may let me know what’s going on, they may keep me up to date… but there’s not a lot of trust there. Neither, does it seem, am I wanted or needed when the chips are down. I’m an asset in the good times, but a liability in the bad.

::sigh:: to be fair, these things are only partially true. In fact, they’re probably mostly wrong. There’s a lot more trust than I would admit, and I imagine that personalities have more to do with things than a lack of trust. I just… I just wish I could do more, you know? I feel like my contribution to CCF is the same as the Voyager’s computer; plenty of information, but not really what you depend on in a crisis.

I know life will go on. I know there are a few who see me for what I’ve always wanted to be. I know, too, that God is the one who controls these things, and he’s watching out for those who hurt. But Lord, why do I struggle so much to find value in what I do? Why do the things I do feel so tainted?

Thankfully, tonight I was given yet another Samantha and Sewa therapy session; great food, great friendship, a goofy movie, and complete acceptance. Do I make people feel even remotely as comfortable as those two make me feel? I hope so, but I doubt it. They make the cloudy days seem not so cloudy, and that’s a great accomplishment. Thanks so much, ladies.

So, back to the question. What’s my responsibility here? How can I best love those around me without being a nuisance (one of my greatest fears)? What actions should I take to help them out? The only thing I can think of, at the moment, is taking care of as many details as possible so they don’t have to worry, and letting them know I’m there. Pitiful, if you ask me, but it seems to be all that’s wanted. We’ll see what happens.

On a side note, I had an atheist professor tell me I was one of the strongest believers he had ever met. Lord, thanks so much for that. When you’re frustrated out of your mind, a little encouragement from an unexpected source can go a long way. Finally, I see validation in attending Madison. Is a difference being made? Let’s hope so. Yesterday’s comment suggested that it is possible.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Till next time.


Wow, what a weekend!

First, I had the chance to see Michelle take a big step in her walk with God, and that was really cool. It’s such an exciting thing to see a person you care about growing in their faith. Next, I got to carve pumpkins (even though they were pretty gross) and eat delicious apple pie. After that, I played chess. All one evening! Very cool. On Saturday, I watched a movie and talked for 2.5 hours with Samantha and Joyce, which was great (you guys are so cool!). On Sunday, my family came to church with me, and I got to go for a CRAZY run with Diana and Samantha (I don’t know why you guys don’t like climbing trees, it’s so much fun…). Finally, I went to B and N and got a novel (unusual, I know), the Count of Monte Cristo, and a CD, which is REALLY old school classical music. Very nice.

So yeah, it’s been wild lately. Amidst all this, though, I’ve had some great conversations, and I’ve come across an interesting concept. It seems to me that when God cursed mankind for sinning, he gave them penalties that we still bear today. With Eve, he talked of pain in childbirth, but I think it meant much more than that. I think God made pain the primary bane of females in general. Pain is inherent physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the lives of women. There is so much struggle there to overcome hurt, and it’s something I don’t fully understand.

Men, on the other hand, were cursed with responsibility. We are expected to take charge in relationships, but it’s our fault if things get messed up. We are supposed to take initiative, yet we’re the ones who feel worst when we get turned down. We are expected, nearly every one of us, to provide for a ourselves AND our families. We are, as Christian men, held responsible for the spiritual lives of our children.

It’s interesting, though sad, to see how this plays out in our world. It seems as though everyone is trying to avoid that curse. Women read perfect love stories and listen to perfect love songs and imagine perfect Prince Charming boyfriends, hoping to avoid the pain that is pretty much inherent in any serious relationship. Men dump girlfriends at the first sign of commitment and live large as long as they can, trying to avoid responsibility. Abortion is the ultimate culmination of these fears; men who don’t want responsibility for a wife or kids and women don’t want the pain of childbirth or of childrearing. It’s really pretty sad.

So, then, what do we do? For Christian men, it seems simple enough. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. We need to stand up and show that we’re not afraid, that we do care enough to do something that scares us. We need to make it obvious that with God’s help, we can do anything. Now, this will take a little help on the part of women. With encouragement, we can be initiators, even though we’re deathly afraid of it.

At the same time, women need to be willing to accept and face the pain that is a part of their lives. Ick, I’m not as sure on this one (any opinions? I’m very open to criticism, I’m on thin ice here!). However, it seems as though they need to have the strength to deal with pain even though they hate it, which can include being patient with guys who try to be leaders but blunder into walls, or learning to deal with the fact that they’ll be moms and that it will be hard. At the same time, men should be supporters and encouragers, helping women with the pain as much as they possibly can.

What a great creation marriage is! Imagine two godly people, and the way God designed things for them. As a unit, they are both a strong leader and a loving servent. They are both a hero and a lover (don’t get all weirded out on me… they’re married, remember?). They are both strong and gentle. They are logically in order and emotionally in touch. They face challenges with vigor and confront weaknesses with love. They bring each other closer to God than they could have gotten without the other. They are a team in every sense of the word.

In our friendships, we can have a weaker version of this. I mean, a group of friends can do so much. If they aren’t, then the question isn’t why should they… it’s why aren’t they.

Anyways, I know that’s a bit random. However, I have classes tomorrow, and you probably do too. So I’ll write again, hopefully, and maybe we’ll learn something new together. Oh… and does anyone have some creation vs. evolution info? It’s driving me nuts!


Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog, and I apologize. Consistency is not my strong point, to be sure! I’m sure those of you who don’t speak with me regularly are at least somewhat interested in the events of the past two weeks, and even those who have spoken with me are a tad curious as to what’s going on in my life. For those of you who aren’t, well, I don’t blame you. But why then are you reading this, anyway?

The parting of ways between Carrie and myself has gone quite smoothly. I think she recognizes, as I did, that this move is the best for us. Further, she is thoroughly enjoying teasing me about her newfound freedom. Yes, we are still on good terms. In fact, last night was her birthday, and though I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, I at least remembered to call, which is impressive for me!

Being in God’s will is something that is definitely hard, but just as definitely rewarding. Already these past two weeks God has blessed my decision about my relationship by;

1) Maintaining a strong and appreciative relationship between Carrie and myself.
2) Using this situation to open doors to better relationships with friends in CCF.
3) Made me seem more vulnerable and accessible to people who may otherwise feel that I am distant and unreachable.
4) Given opportunities to teach others about the benefits of a relationship focused on God.
5) Helped me refocus my priorities.

This isn’t to say that things are always peachy-keen when you make a good decision, cause that isn’t how it is. However, it’s great to be in a place where you aren’t constantly beating on yourself for decisions you’ve made.

So, thanks so much to all who have expressed sympathy in the past couple weeks. It’s meant the world to me to build better relationships with you, learn more about each other, and grow closer together and towards God. I’ve always missed that at CCF, and I’m glad people finally are starting to regard me as just another weak human at the foot of the cross, which is really all that I am.

Now, on to this week’s issue; how do you find adventure in everyday life?

See, I really agree with John Eldredge in that men need to life an adventure. We crave the excitement, the challenge, and the struggle of pitting yourself against the odds and emerging victorious. As Vince Lombardi once said, “A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."

Unfortunately, though, I’ve lost this sense of adventure in recent weeks. Instead of feeling like a warrior in a great quest, I’ve felt like an accountant at the IRS. Instead of being ready to take on the world, I’m reluctant to take on each new day (and yes, I AM thankful for the day, cheap junk).

Generally, movies that inspire me (and many men) tend to show the hero as a strong, fearless character, one who faces his world with purpose and resolve. He is unbending in the face of evil, and his character and integrity are beyond question. Again referring to Mr. Eldredge, I believe God gives us appreciation for those qualities because they are a major part of what he wants us to be. Of course we appreciate characters like Aragorn, Luke Skywalker, Marcus Aurelius (Gladiator), Rocky, and William Wallace. They embody everything that God has designed us for!

The problem, of course, is that our adventures are quite different. Our purpose is not as clear. Our paths are not as obvious. Our skills are certainly far different (can you see me trying to wield a 5 foot sword? I didn’t think so).

So then, where to find adventure and challenge in the life we lead?

Personally, my adventures have always been clear; through high school, it was a combination of sports and ministry. Serving God and training myself physically were full of excitement and challenge. My first year of college, too, was exciting as I began to find my own way and become my own person. Even my sophomore year was an adventure, making leaps and bounds spiritually and enjoying being back in a leadership role. Through these two years, I was also involved with Carrie, an adventure in and of itself.

This year, though, the luster is gone. I’ve been through dorm life, apartment life, the workforce, classes full of debate and philosophy, and teaching lessons. I know what it is to be a leader (not to say I’ve “arrived”, but neither is it a new thing). I mean, imagine if Lord of the Rings was about the Fellowship walking in circles through the Mines of Moria over and over again. The movie would get boring real quick!

I have full confidence that God is trying to teach me something. I see his hand in so many places (especially financially, but that’s a story in itself!). I’m excited about the terrific relationships I’m building lately. Despite all this, though, I can’t help but wish I was doing something big, something purposeful. Perhaps the Revolution will help that, but even then it’s all about reaching out to a few people and reeling them in, instead of the great challenges that I seek.

At the end of the day (note: there are rumors going around that Lindsay has begun using this phrase, can anyone confirm? Jared and I love hearing our own phrases repeated back to us! Hearing people say CHEAP JUNK always makes my day) my best guess would be that God wants me to learn to be faithful in the boring and often frustrating times as well. It can’t all be fun and games! In a Star Wars book I once read, a senator points out to Luke that while he had been running around having fun and killing bad guys, his sister had been slowly helping build a government through blood, sweat, and tears, a painstaking process requiring discipline and strength of character. The senator then suggested that Luke needed to learn a little of that. I think that may be where God is taking me. “Learn to love me even when it’s boring and frustrating, Ben, and then you can go to DC.” Let’s hope that’s the case.

Pray for me, reader! My small group is dealing with predestination on Wed, and I want it to go well.

BTW, John Wong is probably one of the funniest creatures ever to set foot on God’s green earth. All males MUST read ALL his blog entries, you will die laughing. Girls, I would suggest against it, but would be blown away if your curiosity didn’t get the better of you.


Till next time.


Well, I feel like crap. I mean, I knew it was coming. I knew it. I knew that it would hurt, that I would consider going back a thousand times, that everything in me would kick and scream and holler until I gave in. In my mind, I had few questions about the way things would go.

And yet it still felt like a ton of bricks. It still seemed as though my breath would never come back, as though all my greatest fears were coming to a head at once. It still felt as if there wasn’t anything outside of the moment, as if all the world held its breath for one horrible minute and stared as I made a decision and took a leap.

I speak of one of the hardest decisions of my life… the decision to let Carrie go.

By far the most frustrating part of the entire ordeal is that I don’t think I was incorrect in doing so. It was the best decision. In fact, I truly believe that in the long run, it benefits her more than it does me. Even so, though, I find myself in agony. Why, Lord? Why do I serve you with everything I have and get this kind of pain as a reward? Why can’t I feel good about a decision designed to glorify you with my love for another? Why did I struggle so much just to say it, when ending the relationship was the most loving thing I could do? I don’t understand. I don’t understand why the pain has to be associated with the good things too. I don’t see why it has to be so hard on her, when in reality she loses far less than she gains. Why can’t I understand?

The fact of the matter is that we were great together. Her support, my strength. Her servanthood, my leadership. Her desire to love others, my desire to seek God.

So you ask, of course, why? The answer to that is a hard one. It certainly wasn’t anything she or I did. Neither of us has interest in anyone else, and neither is discontented.

However, I promised God, Carrie, and myself (in that order) that I would do my best to handle things in a godly manner every step of the way, and I think this is the manifestation of that promise. Why?

First, and most important, I cannot guarentee we will get married. I don’t know what it is to be married, obviously. Not knowing means that we would be taking a huge risk if we tried to go “all the way.” I mean, we’ve never gone for more than a few weeks as close friends when we’re together. How can I know for certain that we would be fine long term? We’ve never even had a serious fight. Carrie deserves to enjoy college life, to get to know guys without them feeling nervous about messing with someone else’s girl. She deserves to feel comfortable doing what she wants to do, to not have me “looking over her shoulder”. She deserves more out of college than she would be able to get with me in the picture.

Second, I am afraid that I am beginning to allow our relationship to intrude on my relationship with God. No doubt, she has affected that relationship in many ways, all of them good. For the first time, though, it’s starting to get in the way. This is my fault, not hers, but it is still something that needs to be fixed. I realized recently when planning for next summer that instead of planning around God’s will for my time, I was planning around seeing her. It could very well be possible to recalibrate my focus and get back to God without ending things, but I don’t know that I have that kind of character and moral toughness.

Third, the more I look at the world of politics, the less I like the idea of bringing someone else into it. Especially at the lower levels, the hours are long, the work hard, and the pay bad. To ask someone to follow me into that world would be, I think, irresponsible.

Finally, I still struggle greatly with believing that I can have value in this world. I do not want to ask someone to follow me if I cannot take care of them and be certain that they are provided for. Yes, I understand that relationships go both ways, but that doesn’t absolve me of my responsibility to look out for her interests above mine. She will have great value for someone in a marriage relationship someday; I have yet to be convinced that I will do the same. Until I am, I am going to be very cautious.

Please don’t think from all this that this decision was a cold, logical one made in the space of five minutes. The truth is that I agonized over this for days. I cried. I struggled. Who wouldn’t? Carrie is one of the most valuable people I have ever met in my entire life, and I’ve called myself a fool a million times for letting her go.

Carrie knows me better than anyone. I could convince anyone and their mother that I was happy, but she is always able to know something is wrong. She remembers details like nobody I’ve ever known, reminding me of things like my brother’s birthday and CCF meetings that I was supposed to go to. She can listen forever or talk forever, whichever is needed. She has a smile that could make the lowliest of peasents feel ready to take on the world. She serves people without considering her own needs and desires, serves until it hurts, serves until there’s no reason left to serve… and then does it again. More than all that, she loves God. She loves him despite her family’s general apathy towards Christianity, despite her friends’ pursuit of other things, and despite her occasional frustrations with people in her church. She loves him despite struggle and hardship. She loves him despite pain.

Parting with her is nothing less than agonizing.

Despite all this, though, there is a beautiful side. Beautiful in that we can be proud of our relationship. Beautiful in that we never, NEVER crossed the lines of sin in our physical relationship. Beautiful in that she has made me a far better person, and hopefully the same is true the other way around. Beautiful in that God was honored and glorified in our relationship, and nobody can deny it. Beautiful in that we were a shining example of all that a Christian relationship can be. I am better prepared for life and for future marriage because of Carrie.

Looking down the road, I know that the only responsible thing I can do is let her go. I’m going to hurt, and she’s going to hurt, but it is the only way. God MUST be first, and I believe with all my heart that this decision is a reflection of my desire to make that true in my life.

The next days and perhaps even weeks will be tough ones for us, so I would appreciate your prayers. This has been the hardest decision I’ve made, and will take some getting used to. Through it all, remember this. 1 Samuel 12:24 says, “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”

God has done some fantastic things for Carrie and I, and it is incumbent upon me to thank him for that and to press on in my relationship with him because of it. Though I am in great pain today, I know God will honor this choice.

Don’t be afraid of closeness, dear reader. I would not be half the man I am if I had.

And Carrie, if you read this, I truly do and always will love you.



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Great poem, huh? I don’t think it embodies everything that I want to be, especially the spiritual side, but it comes pretty darn close.

I suggested in my last blog that I would use movie analagies in this one… but I changed my mind. Sorry! I’m more interested today in discussing life as it is.

My week has been a great one. Friends, fun, video games, etc… And, of course, a 5 page paper and hour long debate. Very fun. More than that, I’ve started to see things I never thought I’d see. I’ll keep most of them to myself for now, to avoid offending anyone, but suffice to say that the winds are shifting; and I couldn’t be happier. Still, there’s much to do, and some of the winds have moved in negative directions. We’ll see in the coming weeks what comes of all this.

Also, I’ve found myself struggling a bit more this weekend. Yuck. Not a fun thing, but definitely an important one. How frustrating it would be if we couldn’t enjoy challenges!

Ok, so struggle number one. How to choose between two equally good (or equally bad) alternatives? So often the struggles I have involve trying to decide what’s best, not just what’s right. How does one do this? Thankfully, I was able to make the focus of this week’s CCF lesson depending on God, so hopefully he’ll reveal some answers for me as we work on it. But seriously… how do you choose? So often, I think we make those decisions based on personal priorities… but is that right? Who am I to tell the world that my wants and desires dictate the best thing? That may be taking the issue to an extreme, but the point remains that it’s hard for us to know what’s right… when it seems that both choices could be.

The second struggle I’m having is how to separate my frustration and my desire to do the best thing from my relationships. It’s hard for me to spend time with people without trying to teach them something or win them over to my position on an issue, and that has to stop. Not surprisingly, the Darth Vader to my Emperor Palpatine (shoot, I ended up using them anyways) has been having great success, while the Senate is bogged down in procedures. Now, I still am willing to hit the front lines, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. I have to make sure that I don’t let politics get in the way of relationships, which will be far more important down the line.

Third, in relation to the Kipling poem I posted, I’ve been struggling with how I can be a better man. The girls have been discussing the issue of godly men and women, and I wish I could do more. I’ll post my idea woman here, but I’d love to hear any suggestions anyone may have for how I can be a better man. (hint: if you read this, let me know! I really need advice.)

The ideal woman, to me, makes God her focus first and foremost. More important that school, more important than career, more important than me, more important than her family. A woman who is focused on God has great worth, because that focus will filter down and positively affect other areas both of her own life and of mine.

The ideal woman is trustworthy. Not just trustworthy in terms of being able to keep a secret, but trustworthy in that she can be depended upon. Having a rock like that in your life is extremely important.

The ideal woman is comforting. As a high-energy, impatient person, I look for a woman who will be comforting and relaxing to be around when I'm tired and frustrated. No, I'm not talking about puppy-dog adoration, and I don't want her to massage my feet every night. However, I do want to feel safe with who I am in her presence.

The ideal woman is encouraging. Men are often bad at motivating themselves... but a woman can change that almost instantaneously. Encouragement in our spiritual lives, support of our endeavors, and faith in our ability to accomplish things from a woman is incredibly uplifting and motivating to a man.

The ideal woman is thought of well by others. If a woman truly is of good and Godly character, it will show in her life. No matter how attractive a woman is, I would be hard pressed to pursue one who repels others when I'm not around.

In short, I look for an encouraging, comforting, Godly woman whom I can depend on as we face the adventure of life together.

Need a summary? Proverbs 31 is excellent. Men don't need supermodel looks or incredible skinniness. We need to be loved, appreciated, respected, and wanted. This will motivate us to be all the things we can be; godly leaders, loving husbands and fathers, protectors, and champions.

I sincerely hope that God will continue to improve this area in CCF over the coming year (or, in my case, the rest of this semester). We sure could use it!

In all fairness, though, I have noticed many ways in which this has been improving. The other day, I had a female friend basically tell me to be tougher, and gave me some advice and encouragement on how to do so. Now that may not seem so significant, but it’s a very rare thing coming from any but our fearless leaders. People are, I think, afraid of me. I hate it, but am having trouble fixing it. Because of this, I almost never get any advice or admonishment from anyone, which is hard for someone like me who needs feedback. So, thank you to that unnamed person out there… by the way, the red looks good!

Well, this has gotten really long, and you’re probably a little bored. So, I will take off for now. Pray for me, though, because I have a big decision coming up, and I want to be sure I handle it correctly and in a godly manner.

Welcome to the Revolution.


Well, dear reader, I apologize for the long drought of blogs. Hopefully this site will work better! Also, myy discipline in writing these things is less than impressive! Fear not, though, because in general that means things are going well. Lately, life has been quite enjoyable.

For starters, relationships have been excellent. Despite SEVERAL tussles with friends, problems have consistently worked out in a positive manner. This is extremely important to me, and so several successes in this area have greatly boosted my mood of late.

Next, my relationship with God is more comfortable than usual. I know in my HEAD that Christianity isn¡¦t a clinical, theological thing only, but transfering that to my heart is a struggle. Still, God has been revealing things to me that have been putting me back on the path to being tight with God emotionally as well as spiritually and mentally.

Third, school has been moving along smoothly. Though my classes are very hard and mentally tiring, I enjoy them. I love the challenge, and I love it when God¡¦s answers meet and defeat the best the world has to offer.

Finally, though this is also a relationship thing, I¡¦ve been enjoying much improved relationships with the guys of CCF. I still love the girls just as much, of course, but it¡¦s been such a blessing to hang out with people who understand better, have a similar thought process, and for whom you don¡¦t have to be careful with what you say.

This was especially true on Saturday, when we watched football, went rock climbing (which I WILL defeat before I graduate, even if I have to stand in line the morning of the ceremony), watched some great movies (We Were Soldiers and Boondock Saints; guy movies all the way!), and just enjoyed being guys. Good stuff! Hopefully this will help us start bringing more guys into CCF. Operation Integration has begun!

Ok, so everyone knows that I wouldn¡¦t do this if I didn¡¦t have an issue to raise. Question: Where is the line between argument, which is spoken against several times in the New Testament, and defense of the faith, which is also spoken of many times (Acts 17 is especially telling for those who study philosophy)?
It¡¦s such a big part of who I am¡K I have no answers at this point. More on this later, hopefully. It sure is something to think about.

Anyways, I¡¦m really excited for life right now. Needing a little enthusiasm? Let me ¡§hook you up¡¨! Life is a joy, despite the hospital trips, emotional arguments, tough classes, atheistic teachers, missed opportunities, long nights, and lack of answers. When you can take all that on and keep going with a big smile on your face, you know God is infecting you with the Joy of the Lord. Keep it coming!

Well, talk to you later. I hope next time to challenge Jared¡¦s role-playing analogies with (more interesting) movie analogies, though I don't know that I can do so as effectively as he. ƒº

Till next time¡K